Thursday, April 30, 2009


A triple-overtime thriller. What a roller-coaster of emotions. I hated the refs. Hated Rondo. Loved Kirk. Hated ray Allen. Loved Salmons. Loved Rose. Hated the refs. Hated Ray Allen. Hated the refs. Hated Vinny. Hated the refs. Hated Vinny. LOVED Joa-Noah. Hated Kirk. Loved Rose.

Right now: hating the Celtics and HATING the refs, but LOVING the WIN!!!

I'm too happy/tired/headache/exhausted/excited/sweating to analyze this game, so the best way to do it is witha recap of texts (and some facebook updates) from throughout, [point in the game in brackets] ...

[Early in the game]
Coe (via facebook) - "the NBA should be ashamed of themselves. Not only did they blow the call during Game 5, they blew it upon review cause it was a game deciding play, and now they are calling anything and everything except not ejecting Rondo for a hook and slam. It's not even fun to watch pre-decided bullshit, I'd rather watch WWE."
Me (via facebook) - "the refs continue to ruin this game. all basketball fans are being cheated as we are forced to watch refs instead of basketball."

[After Rajon threw Kirk into the scorer's table and threw an elbow at him]
Me - "Eff you Rajon. Kirk owns your bitch-ass"
Goat (via facebook) - "that's why Kirk is my favorite NBA player"

HALFTIME - Summed things up here.

[End of regulation, after BG missed a shot in isoloation]
DC - "That's the last thing I wanted on that play ... This is the most nerve racking experience of my life"
Me - "And it's round 1 of D-Rose's Rookie year ... I've aged 38 years in 6 games"
Dru - "Why not give that to Rose and let him drive?"

[End of OT 1, Boston miss]
Me - "Wouldn't Vinny have a play ready? Why waste a timeout?"
DC - "I wasn't going to drink tonight and I'm 5 deep"

[Heading into OT 2]
DC - "Jesus effing Christ this series is bananas"
PMac - "I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight"

[After Vinny's inbound "play" at the end of OT 2]
DC - "Worst coach on earth ... How do you not have a play for that?"
Me- "if we lose it's on Vinny"
DC - "And BG, he had the worst game I've ever seen him play"
Me - "But Vinny with his switching on every play"
Dr Bill - "Del negro should be embarrassed about that play call"
Me (via facebook) - "Vinny is the worst coach on earth, probably in the universe. My 4th grade coach could draw up an inbound play ... try the "line" or the "box" vinny you dumb stupid asshole. Vinny is to coaching what NBA refs are to reffing. THE WORST.

[Pierce jumped into crowd to save the ball]
Me - "I would stab Paul Pierce if he jumped into me"
DC - "PK yelled 'Stab him!'"

[JoaNoah's steal, fast-break and slam]
PMac - "I take back everything bad I ever said about Noah"
Dru - "Love Noah, absolutely unreal"
Rohde - "P-O-S-T-E-R"
Butts (via facebook) - Uploaded ...

[Kirk missed layup to seal the win]
All Bulls fans - "Are you kidding me?"
PMac - "I feel like I just got kicked in the nuts"

[Post game]
DC - "All that and we have to win another one"
Kmart - "I couldn;t be more drained, that took 10 years off my life"
Dr Bill - "One of the better games ever"
Goat (via facebook) - "words can't do that game justice.... but this is one of the greatest playoff series ever and that was one of the greatest NBA games ever played."
Poose - "You alive?"

Halftime Quick Hits

Slow start because the refs were calling every little thing. Salmons looking good. BG getting to the paint.

Things got heated pretty quickly when Rondo threw Kirk into the scorers table. Kirk stood up like a MAN (unlike that whiny little punk bitch Rondo). Kirk shoved him, and Rondo cocked back to punch or threw an elbow (it's hard to tell what a little bitch like that is doing because clearly he punches like a girl). Of course it was only a flagrant 1 on Rondo (I guess we're lucky it was any type of flagrant because apparently that whiny little bitch can do whatever he wants).

How do you throw someone into a scorer's table and throw an elbow - and stay in the game?? Especially only 1 game after you clothesline someone in the head and get them 7 stitches in the mouth??

Rose is hitting some jumpers.

The refs are ruining this basketball game. It's not even fun to watch with the way they are calling it. Brad Miller, T'd up for looking at a ref. There is no rhythm because the refs think people paid to see them blow their whistles.

Ray Allen is on fire. Everything is going the Celtics way and they are right back in it.

SUMMARY: The Celtics are bitches. Rondo should have been tossed. Kirk is a man. The refs are calling EVERYTHING for the Celtics. Allen has 29 for the whiny-bitches. Salmons has 18 after a quick start. Rose has 20!!

Note: Apparently Rondo did throw an elbow -
Already embroiled in controversy, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo threw an elbow at the Chicago Bulls' Kirk Hinrich late in the first quarter Thursday but was not ejected from the first-round playoff game.

An elbow got Howard suspended in the Magic-76ers series. Will the league right it's wrong from game 5 and suspend Rondo for Game 7 (for a clothesline and throwing an elbow?!) (Hint: No, apparently Rondo can do whatever he wants, ask Brad Miller's lip.)

Game 6 Tonight

So will the Celts come back to Chi-town and own the Bulls like in Game3? Or are we going to see another roller-coaster-thrill-ride-almost-have-a-heart-attack type of game?! I'm excited. I was going to watch the game at my apartment with Willy, but the girlfriend (with a straight face) asked me: "What if you have a heart attack and you're not with anyone?" Seriously.

I'm taking the Bulls. I see Rose redeeming himself with a big game in front of the home crowd. I see an energized Noah getting the UC fired up. I see Kendrick Perkins getting called for (at least) 1 foul. And more than anything, I hope to see Big Bad Brad put that little scumbag Rondo flat on his back.

This is the Bulls chance to take a stand. To announce their legitimacy for the next 10 years. They should come out raging and never look back at this whining, bitching bunch of whiny bitches. Bulls by double-digits, you heard it here first.

Links ...

Plenty of links at the ESPN Bulls-Celtics series page.

Rankings from HoopsWorld -
4/29/09 - The first round is nearly over; it's safe to say that the Boston Celtics/Chicago Bulls series is the best of the bunch. They've already played through four periods of overtime full of clutch shots, punches to the face and even a little blood. It's shame they can't just keep playing each other through May.
8 (8) Chicago Bulls 41 - 41 So now what do the Bulls do with Ben Gordon? Can you let him walk after all the big playoff shots he's hit against the Celtics?

Focused on Kirk? -

Forget Derrick Rose or Ben Gordon.

As far as some Celtics are concerned, Kirk Hinrich has come from nowhere -- OK, the bench -- to have the biggest target on his back.

"We first have to stop Kirk Hinrich," Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said. "He just can't keep coming in and hurting us and giving them a spark. We shut Kirk Hinrich down and we can close out the series."

Sounds good, I'd love to see Rose and BG go off tonight.

Bulls have 2 choices -
The Bulls have two simple choices at point of tipoff for Game 6 against Boston tonight:

(1) They can come out and play ''mouse ball,'' act like nothing cutthroat happened on the deciding play in Game 5 when Rajon Rondo pitch-slapped Brad Miller and watch Ben Gordon hop-step around the court chasing his jump shot like it's ''Disco Week'' on ''American Idol.''
With 3 OT games, series ranks with best NBA 1st-rounders, but, oh, that non-call

If they've already decided that's all that's left in the tank, they also can go online this morning and get a head start on their early May reservations for Maui or Antigua.

Or (2) they can summon the spirits of Norm Van Lier, Dennis Rodman et al., and play the game the way the Celtics want it played -- a war of wills in which the last team standing wins.

Critical to No. 2 is the clear message some Bull must send on one of Rondo's first trips into the paint: You goin' down, ace.

Instant classic -
Through five games, the Bulls' series with the Boston Celtics has been an instant classic. Three overtime games (a total of four extra periods) and countless clutch performances have produced more mood swings than a truckload of antidepressants.

It's not hyperbole to suggest the best-of-seven series could go down as the best first-round series of all time when it concludes. It's already the first series in NBA history -- in any round -- to have three games go into overtime.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stupid Rondo

From the MOST homer-iffic of Boston fans, Bill Simmons -

Q: Should Dwight Howard be suspended for Game 6 for whistling a malicious elbow at Sam Dalembert's head?

A: Yes. Unequivocally. If the 2006-07 Suns can lose their best player for a game because he reacted to the sight of his best teammate getting thrown against the scorer's table like a rag doll and ran 15 feet without doing anything, then Orlando can lose its best player for a game because he nearly ruined Sam's face. Actually, he should have been tossed from Game 5, but the refs didn't have the testicular fortitude to do it. So this is the next best thing.

Q: Should Rajon Rondo be suspending for Game 6 for raking Miller across the face?

A: Yes. Because he admitted afterward that it was kinda, sorta intentional. But here's why the league WON'T suspend him: The NBA would be admitting the officials blew that call. So, they'll fine Rondo and admonish him in a statement, and that will be that. Gotta keep the illusion going that NBA referees don't suck! Hold on, I'm not done.

But of course, the Bulls get screwed and Rondo's "non"-flagrant stands as called -
Rajon Rondo did not commit a flagrant foul against Brad Miller.

Says who? The NBA, that's who.

The league office ruled Wednesday that the referees acted properly when they did not assess a flagrant foul against the Boston guard after he whacked Chicago's Miller in the mouth with two seconds remaining in Game 5 of the Boston Celtics-Chicago Bulls series Tuesday night.
"We felt Rondo was making a basketball play and going for the ball after a blown defensive assignment by the Celtics team," Jackson said.

Really?! Even after he said this -

"He's probably 290, maybe more," Rondo said. "I'm a little guy, so I had to go for the foul hard. I wasn't trying to go for his head, but I think he went up with his right hand and I tried to make sure he couldn't finish or get an and-one."

And considering this -
Check out this photo. TrueHoop reader Markel points out that Rondo's hand is closed, which makes it tough to conceive as a play on the ball.

True Hoop's take on the hard foul

Winners, Apparently, Hit People in the Head -
The Rondo play was more complicated. Even before the game-winning foul, this was a surprise.

The Bulls were on the road, against the Boston Celtics, who generally play the NBA's most unified defense. Chicago, meanwhile, has a rookie coach who would contend in any NBA "least likely to diagram a killer game-winning play" contest. (When the Bulls had been needing big buckets in this series, mostly they had come from Ben Gordon or Derrick Rose creating on the fly.)

But coming out a timeout, down two in overtime with a mere 3.4 seconds left, the Bulls achieved something almost never seen in basketball: A wide-open crunch time layup, against a set defense. It happened because just about the whole Celtics defense stuck to Ben Gordon,

Let me pause a moment to tell you something David Thorpe taught us at Training Like a Pro: Don't go to the hoop underhanded. When you hold the ball palm up with your arm outstretched like a waiter holding a tray of drinks, the physics are bad. Any contact makes a miss likely, and you can't adjust your shot much side to side, up or down, or in any creative way as things develop.

If you flip that hand over, however, to a more normal shooting position, you can control the ball with one or two hands; finish with your choice of many layups, dunks, or floaters; lean right or left; and do a better job of finishing despite contact.

Brad Miller got some contact, all right, and sure enough missed his would-be game-tying bunny by a country mile.

But the replay clearly showed that Rajon Rondo -- the player who had abandoned Miller, who was setting a pick, to double Gordon -- recovered into the lane and smacked Miller right in the head from behind.

It was not, despite what many claimed afterward, a play on the ball.

Rondo had no play on the ball, which was a yard beyond his reach. So he hit what he could, and it worked beautifully.

Doc Rivers raved about the foul, and rightly so: If that's not going to be called a flagrant -- a common call for blows to the head that are not plays on the ball -- it's amazing. How else could a player who was well and truly beaten both prevent a wide-open layup, and reduce a player's likelihood of hitting his free throws?

As it was called a regular personal foul, Miller had to shoot the free throws himself, or be replaced by a Bull of Doc Rivers' choosing. Miller shot, and missed, while blinking again and again, apparently impaired by the fumes of the compound used to close the wounds in his mouth.

If it had been called a flagrant, Vinny Del Negro could have specified the shooter of his choice (in the playoffs, Ben Gordon, John Salmons, Derrick Rose and Tyrus Thomas are all over 80%), and the Bulls would have had the ball after the shots.

With a flagrant, the Bulls would have been favorites to win. Without a flagrant, a blow to the head of the guy shooting for the game is a savvy tactic.

I'm not suggesting it's an intentional Celtic strategy. But Brad Miller is awfully close in his comments to the Sun-Times:

''We got a lot of guys getting head shots this series,'' Miller said. ''There was blood on the floor. I don't know if they even cleaned it up. One tooth went into my lip. You have to ask them how many stitches they put in. Everybody has had to shake off these high hits. That's a good shot to take to the head. I didn't see it, but I felt it. Still no excuse.''

Not to read too much into unrelated plays by Howard and Rondo, but certainly today the ball's in the NBA's court. Having been so careful in recent years to make the game less about brutish defense, and more about offense and the beauty of the game, are these the new rules of engagement? Are heads fair game? And if so, as it works so well, can't we expect more of the same?

Seems likes everyone but the refs, Tim Legler, and idiotic Bostonians get it.

Game 5 Reactions

Dan has already covered the angry/bitter post (and he's right, the refs did a poor job last night - but the Bulls lost that game), so I'll try to take a different spin ...

This isn't meant to read as a "we're down in the playoffs, so let's just quit" post, because I legitimately believe the Bulls can win game 6 at home, then have a coin-flip chance at game 7 in Boston. Looking back to the pre-season, if you'd have told me that we would be at this point without Luol Deng, I'd be pleasantly surprised (read: shocked!).

That being said, we've already "won" in these playoffs. The NBA, more than any other sport, has a playoff system that "requires" learning (read: losing first). Many of the great teams had to lose (multiple times) in the playoffs before getting over the hump (much in the way the 1990s Bulls had to overcome the Bad Boy Pistons).

I say we've already "won" because this series has been a great learning experience for the young guys (possibly excluding TT because VdN loves that 4 Gs and a Center line-up, or playing Brad Miller the entire 2nd half of games). D-Rose has played great (game 1) and not-so-great (game 5). But remember, he's 20 years old!! He would not even be allowed to watch these games with us in a bar if he weren't playing. Noah has made a name for himself, and established that we have a legit center.

That means we have the 2 toughest positions locked up with 2 good, young players (Rose and Noah). We have a decent (albeit overpaid) SF that can shoot (Luol), an athletic 4 who's only getting better (TT), and a scoring/slashing 2 guard (Salmons), with BG as the possible 6th man?? - that's a GREAT team going forward!

Plus, we're "learning the playoffs" as we speak. The NBA playoffs are a different animal than the NBA season, and this is a great experience for our young guys (read: Rose). We blew a 10 point lead with 6 minutes to play last night ... 3 years from now that won't happen because we will have done this all before. This has been an emotional, exciting, possibly-greatest-first-round-series-of-all-time ... no matter how this thing turns out, we fans are all lucky to watch such fun basketball, and the inexperienced Bulls are getting the experience needed for the future.

(Note: I'm still picking the Bulls in 7)

Links ...

I thought Doc Rivers said the Celtics aren't allowed to complain? But he can complain and get fined? -
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was surprised the league fined him $25,000 for comments he made Monday about the officiating in this series.

''Yeah, because the question came from you [media] guys about what the Bulls were doing,'' Rivers said. ''What can you do? I'm the personal stimulus package right now. You guys ought to take up a collection. Actually, I think it is tax-deductible, but I don't need any more deductions.''

Rivers was fined for saying referees are looking to call moving screens on Celtics center Kendrick Perkins.

I can't stress enough how much I hate this whining, bitching bunch of whiny bitches. HATE. THE. CELTICS.

And Dan was right, it was a flagrant (the Bulls are sending in the tapes -
His upper lip was swollen and cut, the blood gushing out of the corner of Brad Miller’s mouth and the Chicago Bulls’ trainer reached inside and furiously sewed those stitches. Discombobulated, dizzy, his eyes rolling back, Miller was fighting to keep his mind on the magnitude of the moment.

“I shut my eyes,” Miller said, “and waited until he told me he was done.”

Two seconds left in overtime, two free throws, after the Boston Celtics met Miller with mayhem and malice at the rim. Rajon Rondo never bothered to swing for the ball with Miller on the move, just a forearm to the face that crumpled him to the floor. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro screamed for a flagrant foul, and Miller looked like a lost soul, wandering in a fog between the bench and the free-throw line, between consciousness and confusion.

“It was just another one of the many shots to the head that haven’t been called this whole series,” Miller grumbled.

Out of nowhere, these Bulls and Celtics are playing a playoff series for the ages and, now, groggy and glassy-eyed, Miller had a chance to push the defending champions to a second OT on Tuesday night at the Garden. The Celtics wouldn’t let Ben Gordon catch an inbounds pass to beat them with a jumper, so the ball found its way to Miller at the free-throw line extended. He faked once, lost his man and had a clear path to the basket for a dunk.

Rondo hit him at the rim with two seconds left, with Kendrick Perkins closing fast. “No layups,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, and that “won the game for us.”

Miller is a career 80 percent free-throw shooter, but he never had a chance. Rondo has done everything for the Celtics, including the clocking of a 7-foot, 270-pound tractor out of Purdue.

“I don’t even know if they cleaned up all the blood around the basket,” Miller said.

Maybe it was a flagrant foul, Miller mused, but how could he tell. “I missed it,” he said. “I was getting a forearm shiver to the face.”


“There were arms coming from everywhere, and I knew they weren’t going for the ball,” Miller said. “I was just trying to get [the shot] up before they called some crap like ‘on the ground.’ ”

The Bulls aren’t done. Not even close. They’ve sent film to the league office on the Celtics’ physicality, Miller said, but those never go anywhere. That’s all right. This is good for the Bulls, good for the game. Another night, another epic. Pity poor Brad Miller. He had two free throws, two rims and two seconds left on Tuesday night when little Rajon Rondo had a free shot and pounded him upside that woozy head.

When it was over, Miller was drinking a bottle of water at his locker. He tipped the bottle to one side of his mouth, where there were no stitches, no blood. His knees were wrapped with ice. His eyes were glassy. There was no second overtime on Tuesday night at the Garden, but there’s still a chance for the Bulls to come back to Boston for Game 7, to take the champ’s best shot.

“We’ve got another game to play on Thursday,” Miller said. “Let’s strap it on and see what happens.”

'Painful' loss
Brad Miller spoke slowly with stitches that had just been sewn into the inside of his lip. He made it clear, though, that he disagreed with the call that followed a swat across his face.

It was "absolutely" a flagrant foul, the backup center said after the Bulls' 106-104 overtime loss to the Celtics on Tuesday night. That would have given Chicago the ball after he took two free throws. Instead, he missed both and a chance to tie the game with 2 seconds left.

Boston, which overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series going into Thursday night's sixth game in Chicago.

Observations from Game 5 -
The Bulls had this one.

They had it … then they let it slip right through their fingertips. They had an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter; they had Ray Allen fouled out; Ben Gordon had a 17-footer to win the game. All the pieces were in place for an upset, for a 3-2 lead and then -- poof! -- they vanished faster than Vinny Del Negro's timeouts. The Bulls have played great throughout this series (minus Game 3, of course), but mentally, they aren't ready to take the next step that great teams have to take. The team is too young and hasn't figured out how to close out games yet. Here are a few other postgame observations from Game 5 …

Beaten and bloodied
From Ben Gordon's strained hamstring to Kirk Hinrich's cut forehead and Brad Miller's lacerated mouth, the blood-pressure-challenging 53 minutes at the TD Banknorth Garden on Tuesday turned out to be the anatomy of heartbreak for the Bulls in a 106-104 overtime loss to the defending-champion Boston Celtics.

The game made the Bulls-Celtics series the first in NBA playoff history to have three overtime games.

Refs (and Bulls) blew it
I’m here for the fun . . .

Brad Miller got fouled flagrantly. It was an obvious play. It was an obvious choke by the officials.

The Bulls should’ve had Miller go to the free-throw line, his team down two with two seconds left in overtime in Game 5 on Tuesday. Miller should’ve gotten his shots and the Bulls should’ve gotten the ball out of bounds after Rajon Rondo raked Miller’s face and gave him a fat lip.

But no. It was simply a two-shot personal foul. It probably would’ve been called a flagrant foul if this game was in Chicago, or if the Bulls were the defending champions.

It wasn’t, they aren’t, and Miller missed the first shot. Now he had to miss the second. He did. He missed everything, which is an automatic change of possession. Ballgame.

But forget about that.

Remember instead that the Bulls blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Not a flagrant...nothing to see here....move along....

Trying to not be bitter (really I am, but there not making it easy) about this because the Bulls were up 11 in the 4th Quarter and shouldn't have needed OT to win...but anyone who says the above play was not a flagrant foul is intellectually deficient. Which, by definition, makes them a Boston sports fan.

Look at the picture...try and argue he was making a play on the ball. Rondo's entire body is behind Miller except for his closed fist strategically placed on his jaw. Yet the experts on ESPN showing their Boston/NYC bias argued that the foul was not flagrant and Miller was too big so Rondo couldn't get to the ball. That was Legler's explanation last night. Seriously.

This call was just the icing on the cake from another homecooked game in Boston. Man just think how well the Bulls would be doing if it was only 5 on 5 instead of 5 on 8.

And it also looks like Pierce is throwing up gang signs again! Suspend him Stern!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Game 5 Preview & Links

Quick turnaround (and travel to Boston) after an epic Game 4, that's got to favor a younger Bulls team. Pierce has been carrying them for months, and must be tired. Rondo cannot possibly keep this up, can he? (The basketball fan in me wants to say yes, but the Bulls fan hopes NO!)

I think D-Rose and our young bigs should be able to run their bigs out of the gym (tire them out, get them some cheap fouls, etc.) Just as I said in my Game 4 Preview: "Maybe we can actually get Rose going to the hoop to get their limited bigs in foul trouble ... but is Vinny smart enough to try an actual strategy?? I'm pretty sure it will be in spite of whatever Vinny does, but I believe in D-Rose coming up big, so I've got the Bulls in a close one."

Again, they have 4 bigs available tonight, and two of them are Brian Scalabrini and Mikki Moore ... Vinny, can you please take advantage?!

Links ...

ESPN Game Preview
Last year Boston was tied 2-2 in its series with Atlanta, Cleveland and Detroit, going on to beat the Hawks and Cavaliers in seven games and the Pistons in six. They won the NBA title in six games over the Los Angeles Lakers.

But that team had Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, James Posey and P.J. Brown as part of a defensively intimidating frontcourt. In these playoffs Garnett and Powe are sidelined with knee injuries, Posey is with the New Orleans Hornets and Brown is retired.

"We're short-handed and we're trying to work our way through that," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

The problem was compounded Sunday when starting center Kendrick Perkins and reserve forward Brian Scalabrine fouled out.

Rivers said he won't allow his players to complain about fouls. Then he did that himself while dropping a hint for Tuesday night's officials.

Read that last part again: "Rivers said he won't allow his players to complain about fouls." Now try not to laugh when you watch these whiny, bitching Celtics complain all night tonight!!

Kmart beat me to linking to this great article.

Is BG playing??

And in case you forgot what Game 4 was like ...

Joakim Noah

(Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Some of the hate for Joakim Noah has been previously mentioned on this board. Personally, I hated him in college, because of him I hated Florida, and I cheered against them every single round of March Madness for two straight years... to no avail.

A lot of my hatred for him stemed from his excentrics during games along with ridiculous-ness of post game celebrations especially after the second national championship: "We gonna do it right doggg...this is for all my doggs in the FLA... We gon' do it..." (followed by a lot of other ridiculous verbiage that didn't constitue English).

I saw the pick coming. While most experts predicted Spencer Hawes, Noah fit the mold for the Paxson draft pick. Big man, productive college player, stud in the NCAA Tourney.

I didn't hate the pick, because I thought he was probably the best player available at the time, but I obviously had my qualms... mostly for the above mentioned. After the draft though, I began seeing more interviews of him, and it turned out he was actually a pretty regualr, well-spoken kid. Not the Florida river-rat that I was led to believe.

I began to see that if he played and worked hard as a Bull, I could begin to enjoy some of the antics that I had hated while he was at Florida. I call this the A.J. factor. Sure he might be an asshole, you have no problem ackowledging he's an asshole, but as long as he's your asshole, you'll love him.

This is where I am now. I love Joakim Noah. I think with a serious off-season of hitting the weight room (instead of drinking henessy, smoking pot and eating cheetos with his "doggs") he could become a great player.

Two months ago, when trade rumors were swirling for Amare, I would have traded Noah long before Tyrus. Now... there's no way. There is no way I would ship out Joakim Noah before I would ship out Tyrus Thomas. He's becoming a legitimate center and has surpassed Tyrus in value. (And this is coming from one of the biggest TT fans you can think of!)

Here's a great read on Noah from Jon Greenberg at ESPN Chicago

Joakim Noah's swag is phenomenal. His swag is crazy. His swag is super funky.

These are his words, his truths, because if there's one thing Noah loves to talk about, it's his varieties of swag.

Swag, of course, is Noah's shorthand for swagger, Noah-speak for cool. It could be anything from his seersucker suit on draft night to the way he sneers and belts out a scream after a big play on the court (or a not-so-big play), even if no one is really scared of his scream, because, in truth, he's not very scary at all.

Noah's swag was in full effect when he walked up to Jerry Reinsdorf at practice this past Saturday before the Bulls' series-tying 121-118 victory over the Celtics in Game 4 on Sunday. Noah put one of his oversized mitts on the chairman's back and said, "Whassup, Bossman?" After the casual greeting -- Reinsdorf seemed charmed by it -- Noah promised the Bulls' owner the team would make him proud the next day, which it did.

Noah had 12 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and a ferocious dunk in the deciding second overtime Sunday. When things are going well -- when Noah is contributing by tipping the ball around, grabbing rebounds, blocking shots and tomahawking it home -- his swag is a sight to see.

But if you're not a fan of the Florida Gators or the Chicago Bulls or wispy mustaches, you might find the gangly, boisterous Noah and his so-called swag more annoying than Ronnie Woo Woo on Red Bull. You might hate him from his flopping ponytail down to his boat-size Le Coq Sportif high-tops. If you're a Boston Celtics fan, you're probably going to boo him mercilessly Tuesday night.

"Some people like me. Some people really hate me," he said. "It's been like that since I was a little kid. I don't really know what it is, if it's the hair or just the way I am. I just learned to live with it."

When I asked him for reasons fans shouldn't hate him, he said, "I think they should hate me. I really don't understand it, but at the same time, I cherish it. I like the role as the guy opposing fans like to get on."

However … "Off the court, I'm not that loud. The way I am on the court and the way I am off the court is that I'm two completely different people," he said.

The on-court Noah, the impossibly long-limbed, nimble 6-foot-11 center, has the potential to be a game-changer on defense. When he is on the offensive end, though, his vulnerabilities are laid bare. Aside from a few feet around the rim, he's perhaps the sixth option, after his four teammates on the court and maybe Bennie the Bull. But he's the one who gets heckled the most.

"All the time," he said. "It's unbelievable. … I'm from New York, so I remember going to the Garden and the people we would hassle would be Reggie Miller, Michael Jordan, the best players. Offensively, I'm just getting mine off tip-ins and keeping the ball active. For some reason, fans in other gyms love to hate me. I like it."

"Fans just seem to not like him," said Celtics center Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who battled Noah while in college at LSU.


Last season was Noah's first not making the postseason. Needless to say, the competitor in him is enjoying the playoff experience in 2009.

"This is what it's all about," he said. "Huge crowds, everyone on the floor really wants to win. Everything you do is meaningful. Every screen you set is big. Everything's magnified, and I love it."

Noah admits he "world toured" a bit too much last summer, traveling to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Miami, France and Sweden. Whenever this season ends, he plans to split his time between Chicago and Bradenton, Fla., where he is scheduled to train at the IMG Academy.

The French national team wants him to join the squad for the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament. He isn't sure about that, though. He knows he needs to focus on adding more bulk because, as he's found out, swag takes you only so far.

"You got to take this seriously," he said.

I hope Noah's got his swag on tonight and takes a huge dump on Kendrick Perkins.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Missed this earlier ...
A series to remember -

This is the series where everything happens. Overtimes. Ben Gordon and Ray Allen. Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo. Goose bumps. And now, a best two-out-of-three scenario, thanks to the Bulls' 121-118 double-overtime win at the United Center on Sunday afternoon.

This series is tighter than spandex on Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Three of the first four games have been decided by a combined eight points. Two of the games have already wandered into overtime. If this thing gets any more exciting, the league will have to issue defibrillators to ticket holders.

"In the playoffs you've got to learn how to forget quick,'' said the Celtics' Paul Pierce.

Speak for yourself. We want to remember every delicious detail of this series, especially Sunday's Game 4, which gets the instant classic limo treatment Monday on the mothership network (ESPN Classic, 5 p.m. ET).

And if there's such a thing as an opening-round classic, then the Bulls-Celtics qualifies. It's the series that keeps giving, thanks to the Bulls' rookie point guard Rose, the Celtics' third-year point guard Rondo, the veteran guards -- the Bulls' ridiculously fearless Gordon, the Celtics' shaved-headed assassin Allen. It's the series you don't want to see end -- and it might not for another three games.

"Maybe we like Chicago a lot,'' said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who was born and raised here. "Maybe we want to come back. The pizza's frickin' good.''

Might be subtle, almost unnoticed mistakes, but VdN keeps making them -
Check out these situations:

With 1:06 left and the game tied at 91, Boston's Ray Allen is shooting a free throw, while Del Negro stands poised to call timeout afterward (we can presume this because he ended up calling timeout seven seconds later when the Bulls finally got the ball).

In other words, the only play that could possibly happen between the free throw and the timeout is a defensive rebound situation. But instead of subbing in Brad Miller or Tyrus Thomas, Del Negro left John Salmons as the "big man" on the block. Rajon Rondo went around him to grab the offensive rebound, and only a tripping foul seconds later on Kendrick Perkins averted disaster.

Amazingly, this happened again. With 18 seconds left in overtime, Boston up by two and Paul Pierce at the line, Del Negro again left his best rebounders on the bench right before a timeout. This time, however, his team grabbed the carom

With a three-point lead and 16 seconds remaining in regulation, Del Negro came out of a timeout with his key defender, Kirk Hinrich, on Paul Pierce, even though Boston's best shooter, Ray Allen, was the main threat in that situation. With a two-point deficit and 39 seconds remaining in the first overtime, he had Hinrich on Allen and Salmons on Pierce, despite the high likelihood of an isolation play for Pierce. Thus his best defender was out of the play on two of the biggest possessions of the game.

At least Hinrich was on the court, which is more than can be said for Lindsey Hunter. At every key moment, Del Negro left his worst perimeter defender, Rose, on the court, while the veteran Hunter -- who is in the league only for his defense -- stayed on the bench. Hunter played one possession at the end of the first half, and that was it.

Even in situations such as the two referenced above, in which the only outcome was a defensive possession followed by a timeout or a foul, Del Negro didn't put Hunter in; instead, we got to see Rose get hung up on a screen for the 183rd time in four games as Allen knocked in a game-tying 3 to send it to overtime. And of course, on that final play in the second overtime, Hunter could have been brought in to pressure the ball and give a foul.

Quick hits from TrueHoop...

Joakim Noah is providing an essential service to the Chicago Bulls: Providing personality. (Tiny bit PG-13.) Brendan Jackson of CelticsHub with more on that topic: "It's almost a guarantee that when the whistle blows on a time out or a foul away from the ball, the player with the ball will take a free shot at the basket while the refs sort out the foul or the players retreat to their benches. It's also a well known fact that Boston, due to Kevin Garnett's philosophy and intensity, don't let their opponents shoot or at least see that ball go through the basket. In the first quarter of today's game, Doc called a timeout when Rondo had the ball in his hands. Like clockwork, Rondo attempted to get that free shot, when, out of nowhere, Joakim Noah came over and blocked the shoot back into his face. It seemed symbolic for two reasons: 1) It showed the the Bulls were not going to go quietly or be pushed around, Nope. No repeats of game three. 2) It seemed like the Bulls were taking a play out of the Celtics philosophy book."

It's killing me that I'm really starting to get on the Noah bandwagon...he was my least favorite Bulls draft pick ever at the time (until they picked Aaron Gray one round later). He was huge in OT last night. With Perkins fouled out of the game he made his presence felt with a couple blocks and big if our bigs could only do that when Perkins is in the game...

Also, not Bulls but pretty impressive...

Chris Lofton, 17 of 22 from downtown in a Turkish League game. Think about that. The former Tennessee player has also survived cancer. There's a story in there, for sure. (Thanks, Fatih.)

Launching 22 3-pointers is incredible enough...but actually hitting 17? I don't care what league he's in, that's good.


Good draft -
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't own the second day of the draft as billed. Armed at the start of Sunday with a dozen draft choices in the final five rounds, the Cowboys were caught reaching too many times. By comparison, the Chicago Bears had a much better second day.

Their picks were consistent and fit needs. Defensive ends Jarron Gilbert and Henry Melton have run the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds and will work with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli on the Bears' pass rush. Safety D.J. Moore had received a higher grade than his third-round selection. The Bears added wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias, who was rated in the round he was selected. Most of the Cowboys' picks were rated two or three rounds lower than their selections.

This is who we got in the draft.

"Fridge" Perry is doing better -
Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman William "The Refrigerator" Perry has been upgraded to fair condition in a South Carolina hospital.

The 46-year-old Perry has been hospitalized for two weeks to deal with complications from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a chronic inflammation disorder of the peripheral nerves. He had previously been listed in serious condition.

Perry's relatives have said he was expected to recover.

Tex Winter, triangle offense mastermind, suffers a stroke

Lakers guru Winter has apparent stroke -

Tex Winter, former Bulls assistant coach in the 90s and creator of the triangle offense implemented by the Bulls' 90s dynasty, suffered a stroke in the shower over the weekend.
Tex Winter, the longtime Los Angeles Lakers consultant and architect of the triangle offense, has suffered an apparent stroke, coach Phil Jackson said Saturday.

Jackson, talking after a morning shootaround in Salt Lake City, said Winter was in Manhattan, Kan., for a reunion of the Kansas State basketball team, which he coached from 1954-68, when he became ill and fell in the shower.

Tex Winter was taken to a Kansas hospital Saturday and had made slight progress, Phil Jackson said.
Winter, who played at USC, was taken to a hospital, Jackson said, and had made slight progress Saturday.

"I've been in touch with the family and they feel relatively at ease with the situation, as difficult as it could have been," Jackson said. "I'm happy to say that, and they've basically said, 'Take your mind off of this and put it where it belongs right now.' "

Cannot find the words ...

That game was incredible. First, sorry to anyone who actually tried to read the Live Blog, there was nothing in there worth reading. Second, did D-Rose have the quietest 23-9-11 of a rookie in the playoffs ever?! He and Rondo are playing out of their minds. It is an absolute pleasure to watch. BG and ray Allen, 2 words for you: pure and clutch. I feel lucky to watch these games as a basketball fan. Being emotionally tied in as a Bulls fan makes it even more fun.

My one complaint: the coaching "match-up." This is like watching John Wooden coach against the guy who hosts 'What Not to Wear.' The Celtics had an inbounds play late in the game and ran a double screen going away from the ball that freed up Allen for an open three (after Rondo threw a pretty inbounds pass the width of the court). We had an inbounds play that had two guys standing still in the backcourt, almost got a 5-seconds call and ended with Kirk forcing in a hand-off to Salmons who (luckily) got fouled.

Doc Rivers is making VdN look even worse than he has all season, and it's legitimately embarrassing. The Bulls are staying close (and winning) these games desite their coach, which is even more of a credit to the rookie PG leading the way.

Reaction from HoopsWorld -
Holy wowzers, what a game! Plenty of big shots and big drama, and now we've got a brand new series heading out to Boston for Game 5.

If you take Game 3 out of the equation, this series has been arguably the most competitive in the entire 2009 NBA Playoffs, and as if either team needed any more reason to make things more competitive, Boston's Glen Davis and Chicago's Brad Miller involved themselves in a little scuffle early in the fourth quarter that really jumpstarted this Windy City crowd. Unlike Thursday night, the paying customers got their money's worth this afternoon.

The rumble looked pretty serious at first, but after several replays what originally looked like a Brad Miller punch to Big Baby's face ended up just being a push with the forearm and an incredible acting job by Davis. He seriously grimaced like he'd just been shot. Watch in slow-motion on tonight's replays. You'll get a good giggle out of it.

Ray Allen nailed another heart-breaking three towards the end of regulation to send this game into overtime, and then Ben Gordon countered with a three of his own at the end of the first overtime. The Bulls won, and their elated locker room afterwards showed how happy they were about that. But Boston took this loss very hard, especially Ray Allen, who took an extremely long time showering and dressing before giving his post-game interview. In it, his responses were very short and his face was stoic. He's not happy, nor is Paul Pierce, meaning Game 5 should be a doozy.

That's it for me this afternoon (though it's almost evening at this point), but I'll be back here for Game 6 on Thursday night. Until then, enjoy the Playoffs. I certainly did today.

BlogaBull didn't watch live -
I actually knew the result of this game (and some of the key plays) before sitting down to watch it. If I hadn't know the Bulls had won, I likely would've been way too intense over missed FTs and poor defense in clutch situations. Or too pumped after some unbelievable shots by the Bulls guards (with Derrick Rose being simply amazing in the 4th quarter). But forget the calm, I wish I could've seen it live, as despite some more sloppy play, it was another classic from these two teams.

My almost-had-7-heart-attacks-during-the-4th-and-OTs is a bit jealous.

As a heads up, Tuesday is another early (6pm) start in Boston
. Butch Maguire's anyone?

Another reaction -
When the last elbow had landed and the last floor burn had cooled, the Bulls somehow escaped with a 121-118 double overtime victory, knotting these Eastern Conference quarterfinals at 2-2 with Game 5 on Tuesday night in Boston.

The Bulls overcame costly missed free throws and turnovers and a five-point deficit with 2 minutes left in the first overtime to win with heart and hustle, qualities that defined Van Lier.

A ridiculous three-pointer by Ben Gordon that forced the second overtime didn't hurt either, which is why Gordon answered quickly when asked where this game ranked in his five-year career.

"This is No. 1, easy," Gordon said. "This is the biggest game of our careers. This says we never give up. We have a lot of fight on our side."

A lot of heroes, too.

Gordon played through a strained left hamstring to score 22 points, including his three-pointer over Paul Pierce with 4.5 seconds left in the first overtime and a 17-foot jumper on the first possession of the second as the Bulls never trailed in the final five minutes.

Derrick Rose flirted with a quadruple double, tallying 23 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and, ahem, seven turnovers in another classic battle with Rajon Rondo, who did have a triple double.

Great observations (click and read the full article)
They missed free throws in game-tying and game-winning situations. They committed some head-scratching defensive lapses. Their Rookie of the Year ace ballhandler turned the ball over seven times.

And somehow the Bulls survived, beating the Boston Celtics 121-118 Sunday in a wildly entertaining matinee playoff game that required two overtimes before it was settled, much to the delight of 23,067 thoroughly drained fans at the United Center.

Some observations on a madcap first-round series that's in a surprising 2-2 deadlock headed to Boston for Game 5 on Tuesday:

On point: The battle of young point guards remains the series' most intriguing sub-plot.

This is troubling (but BG's comment is funny) -
Bulls guard Ben Gordon needed an anti-inflammatory shot at halftime Sunday to make it through the pain of a strained left hamstring. He will undergo an MRI exam today, which will help determine if he can play in Game 5 on Tuesday in Boston. "I was driving and I heard something pop," said Gordon, who incurred the injury while shooting in the second quarter. "It's sore; hopefully itï's not too serious. I'm going to do what I need to do [to play]." Gordon rode a stationary bike near the Bulls' bench during the third quarter to keep the hamstring loose. "It started affecting me right away," he said. "I couldn't do some of the things I wanted to do. But a game like that, you've got to play through it."

Gordon's celebratory gesture after drilling the tying three-pointer at the end of the first overtime likely will draw a fine from the league. "If Mr. [David] Stern asks, it was my groin [bothering him]," Gordon joked.

Just another reaction -
Ben Gordon was joking when he said he couldn't remember how the play developed that led to his tying three-pointer at the end of the first overtime Sunday.

But the 23,067 screaming fans at the United Center won't soon forget the Bulls' 121-118 double-overtime victory -- with its 28 lead changes and 12 ties and countless big plays -- that evened the best-of-seven first-round series, which heads back to Boston for Game 5 on Tuesday.

''We were so close to death so many times,'' Bulls center Joakim Noah said. ''BG hit that huge shot. It just gave us so much energy and so much belief we could do it.''

Bears pick Jarron Gilbert is apparently some kind of superhero

having trouble embedding this vid and too early/tired to figure it out

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Game 4 Liveblog

****** DISCLAIMER *****

There is virtually nothing in this entire post worth reading.

Dan and I will be chatting as we watch the game. I'll post it periodically throughout ...

FIRST QUARTER: (Summary because nothing that Dan and I said is worth posting - we're off to a slow start like the Bulls.)

Crowd at the United Center is terrible. TERRIBLE.

Vinny took a good timeout when the Celtics went up 13-6.

Then made a terrible sub (taking D-Rose out).

Don't we need D-Rose to get into the rhythm of the game to have a chance?!

BG doesn't seem to have it today - which is bad.

Crowd still terrible.

19-14, need a stop then a bucket.

[Here's the chat from the rest of the 1st quarter]

Dan: bears drafted a WR
juaquin iglesias
Jim: yeah, that's good and we got some D-line help
Dan: we took a DL in the 3rd right?
Jim: yeah, then another in the 5th. the dood from the 5th round played RB for his first 2 years
Dan: know what pisses me off, we trade our 2nd rounder but Zona was askin for a second rounder for Boldin....why not make that deal?
Jim: no idea
that would have been awesome
Dan: ok with marbury in we need to close the gap
Jim: announcer "marbury trying to jam it in" THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!
Dan: nicely done rose, he needs to drive like that...make it like game 1
Jim: yeah, we need him to get to the rim
and by "we" i mean "derrick rose"
and BG needs to get hot
19-16, slow start but we're in it
just need to stay close til after half, then we can get the crowd going (if theyre not all dead)

SECOND QUARTER: Score: 19-18

Dan: food just got here, you'll have to carry the chat for a few
Jim: BG hit a shot - that's a good sign
Scalabrini and Mikki Moore are on the floor. we HAVE TO make a run
Rose jumper! 16-2 run by the Bullies! TO Celtics!
we're finally getting to the rim and moving the ball
and playing with a little confidence
Bulls up 7. I almost heard the crowd. VDN wired ... this could get ugly: his offensive strategy "derrick ... blow right around them" really Vinny? that's it?!

Text from Kmart: "need to keep up the great ball movement. and finally a luol deng mention. has a single announcer acknowledged his injury yet? all you hear about is powe and kg" - all great points Kmart.

Jim: just screamed about the TT dunk - willy is awake and mad at me

[Ryan joins the chat]
Ryan: who is the white big man for boston?
he is terrible

Dan: back
had to eat some mexican food
Ryan: nice
Dan: that last foul was horseshit
Ryan: yeah
Dan: every time rondo hits the deck they call a foul
Ryan: miller should have kept his hands up anyway if he was coming in with the body
VDN must have agreed because he put the dinosaur back in
Jim: funny that nad bad brad is not the bulls big man referred to as the dinosaur
Dan: was that a semi-pro reference?
Jim: excellent analysis about scalabrini's head band
Ryan: haha yeah

that push shot floater has been working for rose
Dan: scalabrine is hilarious to watch on the floor
he looks like the guy at a pickup game that tries too hard
Jim: point of reference: 36-36, BG airballs a forced shot
Ryan: haha yeah
Dan: yeh that shot was awful
Jim: can't let him shoot that. have to foul and wrap up
well so far the bulls don't seem desparate at all. the D looks lazy
Dan: the transition D
Ryan: lazy on transition for sure

Dan: its a double edged sword because to be successful we want to play up tempo
but if we arent playing good transition d its going to bite us in the ass
Jim: yeah, but even when rose pushes he's not getting to the rim. just getting it upcourt then letting them setup
part of which has to do with them getting back

Ryan: he is either pulling up with that push shot floater that is working or he draws jackie moon and dishes to TT
if he finishes his drives he will draw fouls
Dan: dammit tyrus
Jim: that would have been awesome
Ryan: yeah
he has had a good game so far
Jim: this feels like a meaningless game
Ryan: strike that
what the hell
Jim: haha - TT looking ridiculous
Dan: i knew TT was going to force something up there
Ryan: he just had to throw up that bullshit right after I complimented him
Jim: 43-40, 1 minute til half
Dan: do you think scalabrine sings love me sexy on team plane rides?
i would make him if i was KG
Ryan: when he isn't blowing big baby in the airplane bathrooms
Dan: please big baby is definitely a bottom, he's blowing jackie moon
Jim: are we to dumb to go 2-for-1 with 35 seconds left
Dan: big 3 by miller there

Dan: have to finish strong
Ryan: im not going to hate
Jim: needed that
Dan: "brad miller does what he does best"?

Ryan: haha yeah i was laughing at that too
Dan: did he confuse him with reggie miller?
Jim: i need to go get some quiznos
Dan: at half i'm heading back to my place so i'll be gone for a bit
Ryan: just reheated some macoroni grill lasag
where you at now?
Dan: i had steak tacos with guac and chips
Jim: people should love reading this on the blog
Dan: well shit
Jim: damnit jesus shuttlesworth
Ryan: god damnit allen
Dan: ha, VDN calls a timeout with .8 left
i'm sure he has a play for this situation
Jim: this should be good
Ryan: haha yeah
van gundy looks like a retard
Dan: i hate that gordon cant fight through a screen
thats all they run for allen
great play vinny. jesus.
Ryan: that was the timeout worth play?

HALFTIME -- Boston leads 46-45

[We are in the game, but playing like this game means nothing. Can we act like this is a mist-win in the 2nd half?!]

Jim: ok, i gotta eat
i had to walk willy at half
Dan: jesus/....3 TOs already
not the start we're looking for
Pierece still ice cold...which is good
Ryan: yeah
he has defended OK but overall looked like shit this game
Dan: we need to make sure he stays cold...its a 4 point game without him busting out

Dan: another TO, 52-50 bulls and another transition defensive breakdown
not alot of good things happeneing there
Sent at 1:32 PM on Sunday
Jim: 2 quick things. on that fast break if gordon would have gone to the hoop instead of trying to stay behind the 3pt line - rose's pass would have led him to a layup. they called it a bad pass, but it was a dumb/lazy play by BG. and JVG just said TT could be "the best running big man in the NBA" if he wants to be ... really?? i hope he's right!
Dan: another TO
and a bad shot by TT
not liking how this quarter is going...we're lucky boston isnt taking advantage
Ryan: yeah
Dan: rondo gets way too many calls...its not like he's a superstar
Ryan: TT hasn't looked good since about halfway through the 2nd quarter
Dan: since your compliment
sox are down 2-1 midway through the 2nd
Ryan: cubs are off to a good start
Dan: nice follow by noah
great i hate the cubs
Dan: perkins is a bitch
Ryan: dirty ass
he has stretch marks all over
Dan: miller with 4 fouls...he is actually playing alright, so thats not good with 4 mins left in the 3rd (61-56 CHI)
Ryan: yeah
the press huh?
Jim: and i'm back
Ryan: i dont agree with pressing, they have been giving up buckets in transition and that is going to exacerbate the problem
Dan: scalabrine has 3 fouls
and true to form out of the press they got an uncontested layup
Ryan: god damnit tyrus
stupid foul, he was never going to get there
Dan: you really jinxed him

Dan: Heineken has really stepped up their game with the commercials lately
Ryan: agreed, your view might be skewed by the lack of quality in the 'double pits to chesty' commercial following it though
Jim: i like the cab one - just a friend
Dan: the walk in fridge one is hilarious too
Ryan: yeah
Jim: and dan's comment just made me realize that i was a minute behind live, or dan is a soothsayer
Dan: cant it be both?
Ryan: any commercial/song featuring ODB is OK in my book
Dan: another TO....jesus guys
Ryan: noah did well there
damnit jackie moon
Jim: the Bulls are not playing like this game means anything
Dan: nice maisel hands noah
Jim: TOs, lack of urgency
Dan: yet they're still up 65-63 somehow
tie game, scratch that
Jim: yeah, but it feels like a game where the best player will win it in the 4th
so we need rose to out-duel PP
Dan: pretty much
dont need pierce to get hot
Ryan: this is going to be a problem if he heats up
Jim: that's bad
Ryan: salmons has looked like shit the past 5 mins
god damnit
get him out
Dan: i think you mean the last 3 games
Jim: salmons sucks
Ryan: put in BG
how many fouls does ben have?
Jim: i dont know
Dan: he's riding a bike righ now
Ryan: haha yeah
Jim: but we need BG and Rose to get going in the 4th
Ryan: vinny benches people too early, like in game 1 when he sat rose after 2 fouls and he didn't have one the rest of the game
Jim: how are we losing by 5?
Dan: 12-0 run
thats how
Jim: that's because he doesnt know how to coach
so when something goes wrong (a foul, turnover, bad shot) he doesnt coach - he sits people
thats his solution
because he's an idiot
Dan: and in game 2 he forgot he had kirk and TT on his bench
hence lindsay hunter getting significant tick
Ryan: yeah
out of nowhere
Dan: everytime i see nash in a commercial i pray its for vitamin water



Jim: can you imagine someone wasting the time to raed all of this on the blog?
awesome start to the 4th kirk
Dan: KMart will be the only one to read it
there you go kirk....end the 13-0 run with a 3
Jim: we should start dissing all our players
Dan: kirk? taking over?
Jim: if they are going to react like that
Ryan: i was just going to say that jim
i complimented TT and he started sucking, and kirk just laid down a big FU to dan
Dan: 4 on jackie moon
Ryan: jackie moon laying down the hammer

Dan: if we can get perkins in foul trouble we win
Ryan: thats one of the many reason rose needs to be driving instead of dropping back for jump shots
Dan: wow where was the fuol there?
Ryan: that was garbage
Dan: fuol is what you called a foul on deng
i cannot type right now
me: did miller swing?
Dan: yeah
me: was that a punch?
Dan: gave him a shot to the dome
a quick push
me: good, hate the big baby
flagrant 1 on that whiny bitch
Dan: big baby sold that
look at that shit
what a pussy

Ryan: what the fuck?
Dan: and the refs are taking over for boston
Ryan: ejected?
Jim: what?!
Dan: hard to win when its 5 on 8
Ryan: you gotta be kidding me
Jim: what is this?!
Dan: this is embarassing for the officials
Ryan: big baby totally flopped
Jim: that was a nice shoulder throw tho, but that's a terrible call
Ryan: what the fuck are the announcers talking about
encouraging big baby to flop
bill winnington would punch him right in the taint for that
Dan: wennington
Dan: good they got it right
no ejection
Ryan: what is pathetic is i knew that didn't look right when i typed it, so it put it into google and it found a facebook page of 'bill winnington' so i rolled with it
Dan: 74 all.....10 mins left.....lets go rose
Ryan: great bound miller
Dan: (who is mysteriously on the bench)
Ryan: haha yeah
Jim: kirk taking over!
Dan: YES boston is making some mental errors. love it

Ryan: that cancels TT's retarded foul from earlier.
Dan: haha
only allen hit his 3 FTs
and kirk went 1-3
Ryan: god damnit kirk
that was good d
Dan: yeah
Jim: nice
Dan: house was looking for a foul
Jim: going to the line for 9 minutes
Dan: we need to hit some damn FTs
Ryan: this goes to OT and the bulls are in good shape with boston's whole lineup in foul trouble
yeah they do
Jim: imagine if we make some of them
Dan: did you guys hear that kevin garnett was hurt?
Ryan: we would be winning by 2 right now instead of losing if we just made our FTs
Jim: kevin garnett on the celtics? what happened??
Dan: apparently he's a good defender
Ryan: can you imagine doing a drinking game that involved the announcers mentioning his ass
Jim: drink when they show kg, chug when he says "f***er" on camera
Dan: if i had a dollar for every time Deng's injury was mentioned i'd have $1

Dan: Rose...just take over
do it
god...every time rondo hits the floor its a foul
Jim: yeah he can just sit down and wait for the whistle
Dan: ROSE!
Jim: get off D-ROSE
Ryan: its go time for rose
Jim: 84-81 bulls!! 6:15 left
Dan: he kept his pivot!!
what the hell?
Jim: i thought it didnt slide
Ryan: thats ok, he is driving and creating opportunities now
Jim: yeah, just dont let vinny talk to him during this TO
he'll ruin it
Dan: he'll probably bench him
Ryan: eva longoria or megan fox?
Dan: 3-3 in the sox game, 4th inning
Jim: fox
good question 3 years ago dood
welcome to 2009
Ryan: in their prime?

Dan: megan fox hasnt even hit her prime yet
Ryan: i dont know dude, i cant image her getting much more sexy than in Transformers
god damnit
Dan: she's got TUP
Jim: damnit
Dan: look at every celtics defender pinching in
terrified of rose's penetration
that was hardly sensational
the announcers need to calm down
Jim: that sucks
we can get that jumper late in the shot clock
no need to take it then
Dan: fuck off perkins
Ryan: thats 4 on perkins right?
Dan: got to be
Jim: the celtics have apparently never committed a foul
Dan: i hate that about them

KG and Pierce complain alot but they are stars and earned the right to chirp at the refs
but after winning last year their entire team acts like they can bitch about everything
and perkins is the worst
Ryan: that was almost a 2 handed airball from the dinosaur at the line
Dan: shit
Ryan: nice
Jim: ridiculous
Dan: god i love rose
Ryan: we need to shut down rondo's penetration and keep a hand in allens face outside
that is how they came back and won game 2 in boston
Jim: 88-87 3:45 left
Dan: can we sign him to a 20 year deal?
Jim: no way, terrible call
not in chicago
are you kidding me?
Dan: terrible
Rose is going to be ridiculous once he actually gets foul calls going his way
Jim: pierce thought he was fouled? really?
Ryan: yeah
there was absolutely nothing but ball on kirks strip
Dan: noah needs to man up on the boards
Ryan: yeah

get him the fuck out of there
Sent at 2:24 PM on Sunday
Ryan: brunette luvabull on the front right is the hottest
Dan: is Kings not on Sundays anymore?
Ryan: assuming k-mart isnt dancing at half time of course
Dan: its retarded how well rondo is playing against us
Jim: wow
Dan: how is that not an and 1?
Ryan: nice ben
Jim: yeah, should have been a foul
double teaming rondo would require coaching
Ryan: makeup call there
Dan: really need to stop the offensive boards
Jim: so we wont do it
Ryan: miller bumped him
Ryan: the man is unbelievable
Jim: bulls up 1 (91-90) - 2 minutes left
Ryan: yes
slow it down

kick it out, good decision
Dan: the announcers can insert "pierce wanted a foul" on every play
Ryan: i thought kirk was going to drive
Jim: i'm so nervous
Dan: me too dude
Jim: this game still has an odd feel to it
but its intense now
Dan: yeah, not nearly as intense as game 1 or 2
how the fuck do you let rondo get that board
Ryan: salmons god damnit
Dan: awesome
Ryan: he gone
Dan: no more perkins on the glass
Jim: yes
needed it
Ryan: jackie moon cannot stop rose on the drive
Dan: they finally called a foul on one of their screens
only took 4 games
Jim: "obviously he didnt mean to trip him" what?!!?
Ryan: who would you have in right now?
Jim: he is a dirty whiny bitch
of course he meant to do that

Dan: clearly
can humility be "off the charts"?
Ryan: TT, Miller, Rose, Ben, kirk
Dan: isnt that against the idea of humility if you chart it?
Jim: haha, maybe someone else is charting it
Dan: i would put noah in
Jim: and he thinks he should be on the charts - which is even more humble
Ryan: i wouldn't
Dan: with perkins out he'll be all ofver the place
Jim: miller keeps spacing
noah sets better screens
Ryan: noah lets allen shoot over him like it is his job
Dan: miller can hit a jumper tho
Ryan: game 2 ended with him switched ot allen and 2 buckets in a row
Dan: we have 0 rebounders in
Jim: yes
get that bitch another concussion
Dan: make up for the last charge
Ryan: TT should be in to defend
Dan: and guard the rim
52 seconds, lets go

Jim: rose has 4?
Ryan: salmons better box out this time
35 left tied up
Jim: my head might explode
hangover and playoff intensity is killing me
Ryan: set piece, rose drives with a kick to gordon
haha yeah
Dan: i want a quick bucket...give us some time if the celtics come back and score
Jim: vinny's not smart enough to go 2 for 1
Dan: boom
Jim: got to be rose drive, either score or kick to BG
Ryan: booyah
Dan: what a bad shot
and it still went in
Jim: what a ridiculous shot
Ryan: haha yeah
Dan: two possessions
Ryan: he was throwing up BS and it was falling in game 2
Dan: vinny did go 2 for 1
Jim: i am shocked
Ryan: one of the best scorers in the entire league?
Jim: vinny went for it and gordon somehow made that
Dan: he can fill it up
Jim: oh no doubt
top 10 scorer in the league
but does nothing else
Dan: bottom 10 defender
Jim: all the other scorers are complete
(see lebron and d-wade, 2nd and 3rd in dpoy)
Dan: wade had a crazy year
yeah no 3s guys
dont let ray allen shoot
Ryan: agreed
that killed htme
Dan: yes!!!!
Jim: oh TT
pass it
Dan: But why didnt thomas give it up?
Ryan: why did he not pass it there?
rose is wide open
Jim: rose was next to him
Dan: better hit one
Ryan: god damnit
Jim: shit
Dan: i'll be furious if he misses both
Jim: bulls up 95-93 16 seconds left
needs 1 FT
Dan: nice
Jim: YES!!!
Dan: 3 point lead
Ryan: if kirk went better for 1/3 after getting bumped earlier from the line it would be wide open
Dan: no shit
Dan: no shit
OT has to favor us if they tie it up
Ryan: that was the least exciting intro to the cavs game imaginable
Dan: no perkins
Ryan: yeah agreed
Jim: this is crazy
Dan: how do you let him open
Ryan: you have got to be kidding me
Jim: oh my god
Ryan: there is one person on the court to be worried about
Jim: you are joking
Ryan: god damnit
Dan: you know he's going to shoot
Jim: what else would the be looking for?
Dan: jesus shuttlesworth you cunt
Ryan: salmons souldnt have switched there
i hate reggie miller way more than jesus shuttlesworth
Dan: ok lets go
Jim: why were we switching

Jim: no TOs left??
Dan: ray allen just went cobra kai and swept miller's leg on that rebound
Ryan: yeah i saw that
i can't believe salmons switched there
Dan: they always switch
Jim: i'm crushed, that would have been huge for D-Rose
Ryan: yeah
tough shot
Dan: devils advocate: does gordon hit that shot?


and noah just lost a tipoff to davis
you have to be joking
Jim: are you joking me?
Ryan: you gotta be kidding me jackie moon
he was deep behind the line too
Jim: this crowd blows
Ryan: nice finish noah
Jim: that place should be rocking
and everyone is sitting, chatting'
Ryan: yeah
Dan: gordon just let him go there
no foul?
T him up
slamming the ball like an ass
Jim: huge shot
we need some stops
Dan: drained that
Jim: or a stop
Dan: both
Ryan: why is salmons taking all our shots
Jim: because we dont have an offense
Dan: he is shooing 25%
Jim: because vinny is an idiot
Dan: so it makes sense
Ryan: allen is killing us
Dan: i'm not pleased
Jim: i feel like we already lost
Dan: perkins being out doesnt matter if they are hitting all their shots

need a bucket now
get a stop
Ryan: way too casual from kirk
Dan: get
Ryan: that was much better d from kirk
Dan: jesus gordon
Ryan: he ripped it away from rose to do that?
Dan: get a huge offensive board
then shit the bed
i dont like that they refer to Bron as "23" in this kobe v. lebron commercial
there is only one 23
and he drinks gatorade
Sent at 2:55 PM on Sunday
Ryan: YES
great call
Dan: boom goes the mental mistake
Jim: YES
Dan: unreal
Jim: what an idiot!

Dan: you have to be kidding
Jim: and kirk is an idiot
Ryan: are you kidding me?
his FT shooting has been horrible tonight
Dan: missed 3 big ones
Ryan: you are a small white guy on an NBA team, maybe you should hit from the line
Dan: no excuse
Ryan: jackie moon, perkins and KG all out
Dan: way to swallow the whistle
fuck off refs
Ryan: that was terrible shot selection
and kirk got fouled for sure
Dan: he only got fouled twice on that play
Jim: that's terrible
its in chicago
Dan: a miss would be great here
Ryan: a nonmiss from kirk would have been great
Dan: great
Ryan: amazing
that was clutch
Dan: i feel 1000% better that we're down 2 and not 3

Jim: yeah
but now is it rose or BG?
Dan: rose drive
thats what i want
Ryan: you cant argue against that but boston did collapse on him leaving ben space during the last play in regular time
im indifferent
what i dont want is a shot from salmons
Dan: they have fouls to give too
Ryan: but i would take him draining a 3 to make me look bad for hating
Dan: so they're going to foul with like 8 seconds left
Ryan: yeah
Dan: nevermind the foul thing
Jim: he might be daed
he cant shoot
Dan: and now we have to rely on him for 2 FTs
jesus thats a fall
Ryan: come on
Jim: wow
Dan: i'm in shock
we have a timeout left
Jim: now we have to foul and we do need a 3 if they make both
not what we wanted at all
Dan: its pretty much the exact opposite of what i want
Jim: 108-107, celtics ball, 9 seconds left in OT
Dan: good job fouling allen
he's terrible from the line
Ryan: yeah
Sent at 3:06 PM on Sunday
Dan: do you want gordon shooting this even though he almost died on the court a minute ago?
Jim: who else do we have?
Dan: no one
Dan: so clutch its sick
Dan: in pierce's face
Ryan: we cannot let allen shoot here
Jim: still time left
Dan: haha see him grab his nuts?
Ryan: i love the nuts grab after
Dan: amazing
Ryan: thats amazing
Dan: hey ryan, get out of my head
Jim: saw it in real time
hence my all caps comment
Ryan: do not foul, and pick up allen after they pick for him on the inbound
Jim: its a double screen
Ryan: great d
Jim: guess not
allen didnt move
Ryan: a jump shot from rondo is perfect in that situation
Dan: that wasnt the play
Jim: i cant take this
Dan: couldnt have been
if it wasnt for free throws...
Ryan: yeah seriously
i wonder what the bulls are collectively from the line
Dan: for the record, gordon's 3 was way more impressive

TIED 110-110

Dan: noah, win the tip against davis please
Jim: clutch
Dan: keep shooting davis
Ryan: well done
Dan: and get rondo out....5 fouls now
Ryan: great bound from rose
keep driving on him
Jim: that was a man's rebound
Dan: no way he wasnt shooting there
Jim: forced shot
Dan: even tho that was awful
Jim: but oh well
Dan: heat check
Jim: BG can keep firing at this point
Dan: this series is taking years off my life
its basically like i've been smoking for 10 years
get the board, dammit
Ryan: great d, terrible boarding
Jim: yes
yes yes yes
Ryan: hell yeah
Dan: big play
we've been screwing up 2 on 1 breaks all series
Ryan: did you see the ginger kid in the front row?
Dan: scalabrine?
Ryan: he has hair like him, haha
it is his illegitimate bulls fan child
Dan: scalabrine sounds like something you order at an italian restaurant
"i'll have the veal scalabrine"
Ryan: scalabrine's love child = best NBA scandal ever
Jim: i might throw up
Ryan: what is the point of that taco salad?
Jim: are the cavs pistons on after this?
Ryan: yeah
they are in the 2nd
i believe
Jim: it was sarcasm
Dan: huge noah huge
Ryan: haha yeah
Jim: stu scott's lazy eye has told me that like 51 times
Dan: great block
Ryan: didnt catch that
Jim: brady just texted me from the game
and matrix is 2 rows behind him
Dan: i got that too
Good play there...dammit
Ryan: great pass
Jim: should be and 1
Dan: yup
Ryan: the dinosaur taking over
Dan: dude he is
Jim: noah!!!
Dan: another block
Ryan: joakim has played awesome d thee last 2 possessions
Dan: needed a better play there
Ryan: this should be in the bag
Jim: he might have a heart attack
Dan: hit some FTs and it will be
Ryan: play d and make FTs
Dan: nice
22-30 from the stripe smitty
seems worse than that tho
Ryan: yeah
Dan: lots of key misses
Ryan: it must just be the clutch shots
Dan: namely all of hinrich's misses
Dan: two days ago i didnt want to resign BG
now i want to
he's a hard player to be a fan of
Ryan: i voted 'reasonable contract for a 6th man'
Dan: me too
why did there have to be a 3 point play there? just when i begin to relax
i need a Tums
Jim: wow
Scary inbounds
Dan: god damn hit these FTs
yeah that was a horrible out of bounds play
finally some clutch throws
Jim: terrible play, but at least we got the call
Dan: yeah
that was lucky
i hate the bulls.
just put them away
Ryan: this is rediculous
why can we not just lock up a win?
Dan: thats the difference in coaching
we need a foul call to bail us out on a bad inbounds play
they draw that awesome play up
Ryan: yeah
all their inbound stuff has been good
thats how they got allen open to nail a 3 earlier
Dan: come on salmons...need both of these
Ryan: nice
Dan: big win
Ryan: they made me nervous but pulled it off
Dan: this series is ridiculous
Jim: wow
huge win
Dan: ok, i need to go lie down for awhile after that

Game 4 Preview

But first, two quick side notes:

Bears Draft - Traded their second round pick yesterday, so made their first pick of the draft in the 3rd round today. The Bears drafted Jarron Gilbert, defensive lineman from San Jose State. For the record, we technically "drafted" Jay Cutler with our first round pick, so we're having the greatest draft of all time.

White Sox - Beat the Jays 10-2 yesterday, Alexei Ramirez led the way with a grand slam. Without resorting to exaggerating, Alexei Ramirez is the GREATEST bases-loaded hitter of all time: 23 career at-bats with the bases loaded, 9 hits, 5 of them grand slams. (stats from

So the Bears and Sox might have some momentum going for Chicago, which I'm hoping the Bulls can carry into today's game ...


Game 4 Preview

Would you rather ...

... Lose a heartbreaker / buzzer-beater loss OR embarrassing / blow-out loss? Arguments for both sides can be found here (read the article and the comments below it).

Afer losing game 2 on a last-second 3-pointer from Ray Allen, and then suffering a loss that was embarrassing to any fan, including me, Kmart and Dan ... the Bulls don’t have to decide! We are coming off both types of loss in back-to-back games in this series. So the Bulls are down 2-1, game 4 today might be the last meaningful game played this season. Which team should we expect??

I think the preferred type of loss (blowout or buzzer-beater) depends on the players reaction / mindset after the game. A close loss could lead to the players thinking “we played OK, and had a chance,” where a blowout loss could make the players realize that they need to make big changes for the next game. This possible blowout mindset particularly makes me think of Derrick Rose (and his ultra-competitiveness) if Dan, Kmart and I were completely embarrassed after the loss Thursday, imagine how D-Rose took it (hint: not well!). Advantage: Bulls.

I am a bit worried about PP going off again. Based on having 2 days off between game 2 and 3, it seems having time to rest was helpful for Pierce, who’s been carrying this team offensively for 2 months. And we’ve had 2 days since the blowout that was game 3. Part of it depends on how Salmons is feeling, as he has to defend Pierce. Advantage: Celtics.

So do those 2 days help the Bulls – who can use the embarrassment, disappointment as fuel to get ready for game 4? Or will Pierce and the ailing Celtics use the 2 days to rest up and come out blazing again?

I think the Bulls will come out with the same passion and fire they showed in game 1, they will get the UC rocking. They cannot expect the home-court advantage to carry then to a win (like they seemed to do in game 3), but should be able to use the crowd to get the young bigs (TT and Noah) going. Maybe we can actually get Rose going to the hoop to get their limited bigs in foul trouble ... but is Vinny smart enough to try an actual strategy??

I'm pretty sure it will be in spite of whatever Vinny does, but I believe in D-Rose coming up big, so I've got the Bulls in a close one. Heading back to Boston 2-2.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Well just in case ...

... You've been in a cave, the NFL Draft is today. Mock drafts are stupid, so I'm not linking to one. The Bears need a WR, let's hope something goes right because Chicago has had a rough few days:

Thursday: The Bulls got destroyed by the Celtics.

Sox lost 6-2 to the Orioles.

Friday: Sox got shelled 14-0 by the Jays.

Plus, I haven't had a Streak higher than 1 in about a week!


Well this sort of looks kinda like it might be OK for the Bulls (except that last part)
Since our sample size of first-round best-of-seven series is limited, I expanded the lens to take in best-of-seven series from any round in the past 15 years, giving us 20 cases to look at in which the road team outscored the opponent while splitting the first two games. And after adding those in, we see immediately that scoring margin is important.

The road teams that were ahead in point differential after two games went on to win the series 11 of 20 times, and in only two of the 20 cases were they eliminated before Game 7; in both of those cases, they were playing against Michael Jordan.

So good news, Rockets fans: Based on NBA history, there's about a 90 percent chance that, at worst, your team will be playing a seventh game in Portland, and there's a better-than-even chance that Houston will win the series.

As for the other four teams, the news isn't encouraging. Teams that trailed in point differential after two games went on to win the series just 10 times in 28 tries, or a little better than one in three. Even teams with a very small negative scoring margin lost a disproportionate number of times.

So, as we sit here today after just two games, odds are that we'll have two lower-seeded teams advancing to the second round. The percentages say that Houston will likely be one of those teams, and informed speculation suggests that Dallas or Chicago will be the other. (My apologies to Sixers and Heat fans, but I'm just not feeling it just yet.)

But wait, we're just getting started. All of these odds will shift dramatically once the final whistle blows in Game 3. In fact, the winner of Game 3 takes the series 75.8 percent of the time after the two sides split the opening pair of games. And of course, the five teams that started on the road will all have home-court advantage for this pivotal contest.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I'm going to take a page out of the Celtics book and say that we beat ourselves last night....played our "F" game...The Celtics will never have a game like that again...see how annoying that is Boston?

I watched most of the game and here is my measured, thoughtful analysis of how the Bulls played in the form of a picture.

Put this one behind us and get your shit together for Game 4, gentlemen.

Beatdown by Beantown

Well, it was ugly last night. So ugly I turned it off in the 4th because I simply couldn't take it. It was so bad that if I paid for a ticket I would press charges against the Bulls organization for robbery. Crushing. Disheartening. Embarrassing. All these words come to mind when viewing a loss like this. To anyone who said after game 2, "I'd rather get blown out than lose like that." I can assure you that you were wrong.

Not a single player had a good game for the Bulls. Paul Pierce started the game hot and built an early lead for the Celtics, and instead of the Bulls playing within their game, they all panicked. Instead of letting the game come to them, everyone began doing too much, trying to make spectacular plays. Very little ball movement, a lot of one-on-one, and a lot of turnovers.

Give the Celtics credit. Doc Rivers showed the difference between a real coach and our coach by making the necessary defensive adjustments to slow down Rose and Gordon.

In the first half, the one good thing the Bulls aggressive(forced) offense did was put them on the foul line, and a depleted Celtics team in foul trouble. However, this didn't make much of a difference, as the Bulls inexperience showed yet again, shooting a dismal 63% from the stripe compared to the 90% the first two games of the series and mid-high 80's for most of the season.

As Blog-a-bull mentions here: "Paul Pierce put them in the early hole, but that wasn't insurmountable. What really took the game from 'uh oh', to 'oh shit' was a Celtics run to end the 2nd quarter that put them up 22 at the half. It was as if the Bulls were waiting to regroup at halftime and forgot to play the last several minutes of the half first."

All of that happened with Rondo on the bench with three fouls, and the Bulls still couldn't do anything. The game was essentially over at that point.

It was a rough game to watch and the kind where you pretty much lose all hope, but I still don't believe this series is over. Boston played lights out on both ends of the court and at the same time the Bulls couldn't have played worse at either end. Anytime you turn the ball over 22 times, it's going to be a long night.

I still believe that despite last night's schelacking the talent level of these teams are evenly matched. (Stephan Marbury, Brian Scalabrini, Mikey Moore... seriously?) I see Derrick Rose spending today and tomorrow beating himself up replaying every mistake he made that game in his head, but coming out on Sunday and having a great game, because that's Derrick. He's a winner, and he hates losing.

Bulls shake off the tough loss and win a close one on Sunday and go back to Boston 2-2.

stay classy Chicago ...

... Reports: Allen target of death threat -
Security around Tony Allen was increased on Thursday at the United Center after a Chicago man issued a death threat against the Boston Celtics guard, The Boston Globe and Yahoo! Sports reported on Thursday.

The Celtics and Bulls had extra security around their benches during Game 3 of a first round playoff series to keep an eye on Allen. A source said the added security presence was a precautionary measure, according to the Globe.

Allen, who is from Chicago, played nine minutes on Thursday night and did not score in the team's 107-86 win over the Bulls.

Sources told the Globe that Allen has been receiving threats in Chicago for some time. Allen was also threatened prior to a March 17 game at Chicago. He didn't make that trip because of a thumb injury.

I'm as upset as anyone about the loss, but that seems a bit much.

The beatdown by Boston -
Willing to defer in the first two games, Paul Pierce took the initiative and the Boston Celtics seized control.

Pierce scored 24 points, Rajon Rondo
added 20 and the defending champions beat the Chicago Bulls 107-86 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The teams split two dramatic games in Boston, but this one never really was in doubt. The Celtics led by 11 after one quarter and 22 at the half on their way to an easy win behind Pierce and Rondo. Particularly Pierce.

"We know what kind of team we are," Pierce said. "The way we played tonight is the way we want to play."

Now, Boston is in good shape heading into Game 4 Sunday even though the injured Kevin Garnett is wearing a suit instead of a uniform these days.

Too good to be true? -
We should have known. During the regular season, whenever it seemed the Bulls had turned a corner and were on the verge of developing some consistency, they usually produced a stunningly bad performance.

Why should we have expected anything different in the postseason?

We shouldn't have, but the toughness and inspired play the Bulls displayed on the road during the first two games of the first-round series with the Boston Celtics fooled us all.

It was easy to believe the Bulls had the upper hand with the series shifting to the United Center for Game 3 on Thursday night, but I thought there was a good chance the Bulls might lose.

Rose was not the unanimous ROY -
Rose Wasn't Unanimous?: Chicago Bulls' Rookie Derrick Rose hoisted his Rookie Of The Year trophy for his hometown crowd last night, and for some the notion that Rose was not the unanimous selection was surprising, after all nine of the 120 voters cast votes for other players. This news took Celtics' coach Doc Rivers by surprise.

"I want to know who didn't vote for him," Rivers said to John Jackson of the Chicago Sun Times. "No, really, if that wasn't guaranteed unanimous... It wasn't, right?"

"C'mon, call those guys out. If that wasn't the layup of the year," joked Rivers when told 9 voters did not cast a first place vote for Rose. "I mean, he's everything you want in a player and more off the court, too, in terms of how he handles himself. "

"I thought he was put in a really tough situation here where you have veterans with contract situations and veterans who have done it their way and they were told they were giving the ball to a rookie and he was going to run the team. Very few people could have pulled that off and he did."

"Forget the basketball. The fact he did that, to me, he should have gotten rookie of the year."

The Celtics took Game 3 last night, behind 24-points from Paul Pierce. The Bulls were absolutely horrible offensively, shooting 30-of-80 from the field. Derrick Rose was 4 for 14 from the field for 9 points and 2 assists. Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday at 1pm EST.